Maureen Colvin wins top job at OPEIU Local 11

Maureen Colvin

In mail ballots counted May 3, Maureen Colvin won election to a three-year term as executive secretary-treasurer of 1,900-member Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 11. Colvin has worked as a union rep at Local 11 since 2007, and had been serving as interim executive secretary-treasurer since her predecessor Mike Richards retired at the end of 2016. Executive secretary-treasurer is the local’s top elected office, and a full-time salaried position responsible for overseeing a staff of three at Local 11’s Vancouver headquarters.

Colvin outpolled fellow long-time business rep Rick Wilson 125 to 66 to win the election. Colvin said she expects Wilson will continue as a union business rep.

Local 11 represents 617 workers at Northwest Natural, 258 at Clark County and 153 at the City of Vancouver, plus workers at Columbia River Mental Health and Columbia Wellness, and office workers at local unions and union-associated businesses in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Utah.

Over the next three years, Colvin said she hopes to get more members involved, particularly as the union contends with the threat of “right-to-work” via a case that’s expected to go before the U.S. Supreme Court.

She’ll also be responsible for renegotiating the current Northwest Natural contract, together with Wilson, the Local 11 rep assigned to the company. That contract expires November 2019.

Except for executive secretary-treasurer, other expiring union offices were filled by nominees who were unopposed:

  • Vice President: Doug Luse
  • Recording Secretary: Debi Turk
  • Trustee: Kim King
  • Executive Board: Sandi Dowling, at-large seat; Chuck Strange, public employee seat; Lori Ricketts, utility seat

Two positions received no nominations and remain vacant: sergeant-at-arms, and an at-large executive board seat.

At the May 9 general membership meeting of OPEIU Local 11, president Barbara Melton (left) administers the oath of office to newly elected officers: Executive Secretary-Treasurer Maureen Colvin; Executive Board member Lori Ricketts,Trustee Kim King, Executive Board member Sandra Dowling, Recording Secretary Debi Turk, and Vice President Doug Luse.

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